7 CFR § 1489.28 - Contracting procedures.
(a) Neither the CCC nor any other agency of the U. S. Government nor any official or employee of the CCC, FAS, USDA, or the U.S. Government has any obligation or responsibility with respect to ATP Participant contracts with third parties.
(b) An ATP Participant shall comply with the procurement standards set forth below and in the applicable parts of this title when procuring goods and services and when engaging in construction to implement program agreements (for example, 2 CFR part 200).
(c) Each ATP Participant shall establish contracting procedures, for contracts that are funded, in whole or in part, with ATP funds, that are open, fair, and competitive.
(d) Each ATP Participant shall submit to the CCC, for CCC approval, written contracting guidelines for contracts that are funded, in whole or in part, with ATP funds. The CCC will notify all new and existing ATP Participants in writing in each Participant's approval letter and through the FAS website as to applicable submission dates for and dates for approvals of contracting guidelines. The CCC's approval of such contracting guidelines will remain in place until the CCC retracts its approval in writing, or until new guidelines are approved that supersede them. Once approved by the CCC, these contracting guidelines shall govern all of a Participant's ATP-funded contracting involving contracts with a minimum annual value that CCC will determine and announce in writing to all ATP Participants via an ATP notice issued on the FAS website. The CCC may, from time to time, set a different minimum value. In that case, the CCC will announce the new amount in writing to all ATP Participants via an ATP notice issued on the FAS website. The guidelines shall indicate the method for evaluating proposals received for all contract competitions, the method for monitoring and evaluating performance under contracts, and the method for initiating corrective action for unsatisfactory performance under contracts. The ATP Participant may modify and resubmit these guidelines for re-approval at any time. In addition to the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, these guidelines shall include, at a minimum, the following:
(1) Procedures for developing and publicizing requests for proposals, invitations for bids, and similar documents that solicit third party offers to provide goods or services. Solicitations for professional and technical services shall be based on clear and accurate descriptions of and requirements related to the services to be procured. Such procedures must include a conflict-of-interest provision that states that no employee, officer, board member, or agent thereof of the ATP Participant will participate in the review, selection, award or administration of a contract if a real or apparent conflict of interest would arise. Such a conflict would arise when an employee, official, board member, agent, or the employee's, officer's, board member's, agent's family, partners, or an organization that employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award. Procedures shall provide that officers, employees, board members, and agents thereof shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or subcontractors. Procedures shall also provide for disciplinary actions to be applied for violations of such standards by officers, employees, board members or agents thereof;
(2) Procedures for reviewing proposals, bids, or other offers to provide goods and services. Separate procedures shall be developed for various situations, including, but not limited to: Solicitations for highly technical services; solicitations for services that are not common in a specific market; solicitations that yield receipt of three or more bids; solicitations that yield receipt of fewer than three bids;
(3) Requirements to conduct all contracting in an openly competitive manner. Individuals who develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations for bids, and/or requests for proposals for procurement of any goods or services, and such individuals' families or partners, or an organization that employs or is about to employ any of the aforementioned, shall be excluded from competition for such procurement. ATP Participants' written contracting guidelines may detail special situations where the prohibitions in this subparagraph do not apply, such as in situations involving highly specialized technical services or situations where the services are not commonly offered in a specific market;
(4) Requirements to perform and document in the procurement files some form of price or cost analysis, such as a comparison of price quotations to market prices or other price indicia, to determine the reasonableness of the offered prices in connection with every procurement action that is governed by the contracting guidelines;
(5) Requirements to conduct an appropriate form of competition every three years on all multi-year contracts that are governed by the contracting guidelines. However, contracts for in-country representation are not required to be re-competed after the initial reward. Instead, the performance of in-country representation must be evaluated and documented by the ATP Participant annually to ensure that the terms of the contract are being met in a satisfactory manner; and
(6) Requirements for written contracts with each provider of goods, services, or construction work. Such contracts shall require such providers to maintain adequate records to account for funds provided to them by the ATP Participant.
(e) An ATP Participant may undertake ATP promotional activities directly or through a domestic or foreign third party. However, the ATP Participant shall remain responsible and accountable to the CCC for all ATP promotional activities and related expenditures undertaken by such third party and shall be responsible for reimbursing CCC for any funds that CCC determines should be refunded to the CCC in relation to such third party's promotional activities and expenditures.